Most people know a little something about the major workings of their vehicles engines -- or at least enough to know when it's time to take the car to a mechanic. A rattle or shake here, a shimmy there, and it's off to the shop you go. By the same token, however, many modern drivers know next to nothing about their vehicle's water pump and probably couldn't locate it or even provide even one example of water pump dysfunction. While it's not essential that you know the details of water pump repair, you do need to know the main signs that your water pump is in need of attention -- otherwise, you could end up broken down by the side of the road. Following are three indications that it's time to make an appointment with your mechanic for the purpose of giving your vehicle's water pump a checkup.
There is Water On the Ground Under Your Car
Although this one should seem like a no-brainer, water isn't always easy to discern once it's leaked out of your vehicle. That's why fluids such as transmission and brake fluids contain red or green dye -- so drivers won't miss leaks even after the majority of the fluid evaporates. Always glance under your vehicle after you pull away from an area where it's been parked. If you notice a pool of water, your water pump may have developed a leak. You can also check your car for water pump leaks on an occasional basis.
Because water is clear, it blends in with many surfaces, so periodically place a piece of flat cardboard on the ground under your motor area when your car is parked. Pull it out several hours later, or leave it overnight, and check for wet spots. If it's dry, your water pump hasn't sprung a leak.
The Temperature Gauge on the Dashboard Rises Significantly
If the arrow on your car's dash board temperature gauge reaches the "hot" setting, this means that your vehicle is overheating. This is frequently caused by leaks in the vehicle's water pump. If your vehicle is a newer model, you may have a light on your dashboard that indicates when your engine is low on coolant. If you've recently had your fluids filled and this light comes on, it's a sign of possible water pump malfunction.
Squeals, Squeaks, and Grinding Noises
Water pumps that are on the verge of failing often provide audial clues such as squeaks, squeals, and grinding noises. Unlike most other engine parts, water pump seals and bearings don't require continuous lubrication, but given enough time, they can and do become cracked and dry. You can avoid this scenario by asking your mechanic to check the seals and bearings during regular inspections to determine if they are still in good working order or if they need to be replaced.
To learn more, contact a company like All's Well.